tv U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell on Government Shutdown CSPAN January 9, 2019 12:20pm-12:32pm EST
calendar. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, last night president trump delivered his first address to the nation from the oval office in the midst of this partial government shutdown, the president offered a reminder of just what's at stake. that is, the security of our nation's southern border. by now, on december -- on day 19 of senate democrats' latest experiment in absentee negotiation, my colleagues are well versed in the facts on the ground. we know that border patrol agents are encountering historic levels of illicit substances levels of illicit substances >> we know last year saw thousands of attempted border
crossings by individuals with criminal records and literally hundreds more by known gang members. wehe understand status code is t enough to keep our families and communities safe. fortunately we know the solution on the table come solutions we, the president has placed at the center of the national conversation since the earliest days of his administration are actually eminently reasonable. as one former border patrol chief under president obama put it just recently, if you look in the past youou don't have to go too far back in history. bipartisan legislation passed where they built the wall or physical barry, whatever you want to call it. it's the law. it works. that's the border patrol chief under president obama. he went on.
it's not based on personal, political ideology. it's based on historical data and facts that can be proven. i cannot think of a legitimate argument why anyone would not support the wall as part of a multilayered border security issue. so why are we not listening to the experts and the people who are doing this every day, like that border patrol chief under president obama? the expertst know what they are talking about. the facts back them up. according to cbp, in four fourr sectors where this administration has already constructed or improved physical barriers in the last two years, listen to this, illicit traffic has fallen by 90%. 90%. of course, not too long to agoy colleagues across the aisle had a completely different position on this subject.
before the political wind a different way, , before this particular president was inaugurated, senate democrats did heed the advice of the men and women who protect our border. by very wide bipartisan margins and on multiple occasions the senate has cleared literally billions of dollars in funding for physical barriers along the southern border. in 2006 then senator obama said that the secure fence act would provide quote badly needed funding for better fences and better security. that'sma senator obama in 2006. in 2000 and the current democratic leader praised that major progress quote 630 miles of border fence, fence, that create a significant barrier to illegal immigration. that's the now majority leader in 2009. now minority leaderit in 2009.
entering the last presidential election former secretary clinton soffit to count the numerous times she voted to quote bill a berry to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. that is hillary clinton. numerous times significant barrier are badly nitpick that was where leading democrats stood. today, however, it seems there's a newew party line. the use of physical birth to preserve the integrity of a sovereign nation is now according to the new speaker of the house in moral. in moral. from badly needed to immoral google spent about president. talk about a pivot. talk about a pivot. my democratic friends wanted fencing and physical barriers in the recent past. there most than prominent
leaders actually bragged about voting for physical barriers. thenl only thing that has changd between then and now is the occupant of the white house. steel fencing was fine, even salutary when president obama was in the white house but it is immoral when president trump occupies the office. all of a sudden, all of a sudden democrats have developed this new partisan allergy to t the subject of border security. they are even prolonging a partial a government shutdown jt to avoid getting more of what they themselves have voted for in the past. so, mr. president, this inconsistency doesn't stop with the drawing imaginary lines in the sand between thene board security, that democrats once supported, and the virtually identical measures they decided to oppose today. the inconsistency also extends to the conduct of the senate
itself during this tantrum. so yesterday evening democrats blocked the senate from proceeding to important foreign policy legislation. as i was saying, mr. president, yesterday evening the senate democrats blocked foreign policy legislation. a bill which was blocked last i included measures of which they been outspokenly supported and even cosponsored. but then they decided they getting anything done at all
this week wouldir clash with thr new political brand. so to be clear, the legislation i am referring tous what of address several series of challenges to u.s. interests in the middle east. it would've reaffirmed our commitment to the security of israel, are close to his regional ally. it would've reauthorize the fence cooperation with jordan, a critical partner. and it would've taken a vital step toward bringing the perpetrators and enablers of the outside regimes atrocities in syria -- aside. to justice. would've delivered on promises my democratic colleagues appeared to be firmly committed. in their own words, senate democrats have discussed quote a continuation of america's on checkable seven decade commitment to israel's security
and doing everything and our power to fight that movement. but instead of proceeding to this legislation, senate democrats voted to block it. my friend the democratic leader chose to take this partial government shutdown that he is prolonged and addry his very own senate shutdown on top of it. no one has shut down the senate as well -- they want to shut senate as well. no progress, no bipartisan work, not even on urgent and pressing matters. nothing that might take the spotlight off his unreasonable showdown with the president. back during the 2013 government shutdown, just as example, mr. president, the senate kept chugging right up to the peoples people's business. we past five bills, 13
resolutions, appointed conferees on the foreign bill, a budget resolution, and confirmed 28 of president obama's nominees during the last w government shutdown. so the senate was not shutdown during the last government shutdown. this time if democrats want to hold everything hostage, everything? more inconsistency. senate democrats were for border security including billions forb physical barriers before they were against it. and they were for the senate working hard during government shutdowns another business before they were against it. well look, and tell her democratic colleagues agreed to get back to work, until they agreed to get back to work, the senate can't make much progress. rest assured, assad has not
pressed the pause button on the syrian civil war simply because it doesn't suit the democratic leaders political strategy this week. israel's enemies have not stopped either. until democrats prioritize the public interest ahead of political spite, our border will not be secured, and the federal government will remain partially closed. i cannot urge my democratic colleagues more strongly to get past this purely partisan spite. we discover their own past positions on border security, and negotiate a fair solution with the president to secure our nation and reopen all of the federal government. >> now, mr. , mr. president, lat night president trump tried